I don’t get it. Someone help me out here.
We respond to these RFP’s (Requests for Proposals) with the best intentions. We spend thousands of dollars in person-hours researching the business, the market, the competition. We find strategic partners to work with. We’re friendly and professional with the client, we ask questions. We package the proposals up in neat ways. We make the deadline. Always.
Then we have to chase the client for a decision well past the date when a decision is due, sometimes weeks after, only to discover the decision has already been made – and we didn’t get the business.
Happened three weeks ago. Happened again this week.
Am I just being a sore loser? Would I be singing a different song if we had actually won the business? Well probably, but I have a feeling that losing these things tells us more about the potential client/agency relationship than winning them.
Sure the point is moot. But when I break the bad news to the team and we all shake our heads at the lack of respect – and what else would you call it – that our efforts have been shown, I tell them that we learned an important lesson about this client.
The clients we have, and I mention them often so no need to repeat the list here, are great matches for us because they share our values. They respect what we do, as we respect what they do. We recognize the challenges in each other’s businesses and work to make life easier and business better.
The ones who don’t bother to tell us we didn’t get their business until we hound them into it, are probably not going to be good matches for us anyway.
Maybe the first question we should ask a prospective client when we next pitch one of these things is: What is your process for informing the losing agencies?
The answer could be very revealing.